I’ve been watching myself edging toward my own “senior” status for a number of years. I’ve just turned 52 and have found myself thinking about this issue more and more. Looking back at the years and how fast they’ve flown by have, made me gain a newfound respect for taking care of myself. Aging well, and staying healthy as a senior is paramount for me, because I have young kids yet, and I need to be active and healthy to keep up with them, plus work to make a living. Some of the things I’ve done to modify my life and living habits have changed in subtle, yet significant ways, in an attempt to maintain thriving health as a senior.
As an avid long distance runner in my youth, I was able to really manage my weight, and stress level with running. However, I simply cannot run at all anymore. It has taken a toll on my joints and I’m not willing to create a bone on bone situation for the sake of exercising, but I’ve modified my exercise routine with yoga, the elliptical machines, and more walking. The yoga is great for stress, and strength, while walking keeps my weight in check.
Stricter Eating Habits
Wow, does the weight go on quick as we get to 50 huh? I can’t believe it! I’ve really had to cut back on snacking with every whim I get. I used to be able to snack on a few chips or some chocolate if I felt inclined, without much of a problem…those days are gone. If I reach for any snacks, they need to be of the fruit variety. If snacking includes nuts at all, it needs to be a small portion. Nuts maybe a healthier food choice, but they certainly pack a calorie punch.
Along with strict eating as I age, I’ve had to cut back on the foods with sodium. Not only does the extra salt keep me thirsty, it also creates swollen fingers and ankles. My ankles will become a bit more plump, which noone but me is able to notice really. I can feel it, more than see it. Not that this is a huge problem, but I never used to have this issue, and I am less comfortable in my shoes due to it.
Maintain Strong Relationships
Developing and maintaining good friendships and social relationships is paramount as you age. Surrounding your senior self with loved ones and friends who are genuinely concerned about you, and share your interests, is helpful for nurturing your well being as you age. This creates interests and social situations which keep you mentally fit and occupied.
Source: Myself and other seniors I know.